• We Can and Must Do Better - Together

    This year, Congress has worked hard to craft solutions to real challenges being experienced in the healthcare marketplace. The fact is that in many states the individual insurance market needs to offer more health plan options at lower cost for Hoosiers. We need Congress to act now. Throughout this debate, St. Vincent, part of Ascension, has sought to be a voice for our patients by calling on Congress to pass legislation that meets three simple principles...

  • Scott Flood is the owner of Scott Flood Writing.

    Two Rules to Prevent PR Disasters

    There was a time when a mention of United Airlines conjured the company's enduring slogan, "Fly the friendly skies of United." More recently, the storied airline's name has been linked with less-friendly cultural references such as "Fight Club." The viral video of a "bumped" passenger being removed from the plane may have lit the fuse, but the real social media explosion resulted from the subsequent tone-deaf statement delivered...

  • International Stocks: Is Now The Time?

    After years of underperformance compared to U.S. stocks, international stocks have sprung to life over the past 12 months. This is welcomed news for investors who've stayed the course with international allocations. And it may get even better!

  • Don't Drop Your Guard

    Why do you lock your home every time you leave it? Most likely, you do it to keep thieves out. Since you haven't experienced any thefts, why continue to lock up? Okay, you're probably shaking your head and thinking that I must not be all that bright. You keep locking your door because you don't want to create an opening for the thieves. Then help me understand what I've seen many companies do over the years...

  • Lessons From My Summer Job

    Area college students have returned home in search of a summer employment opportunity. Over the next few weeks, high school students will join them as their school year comes to a close. The youth labor force grows sharply this time each year. In addition to large numbers of high school and college students searching for summer jobs, many graduates enter the labor market to look for or begin permanent employment. Employers stand ready to welcome those young people to the workforce.

  • How Corporate Activism Makes a Difference And Drives a Bottom Line

    It's June. That means the rainbow flag is everywhere throughout corporate America. As the anniversary of the LGBT rights movement, the month gives companies a platform to show support for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community including their employees and customers. It's easy to dismiss corporate floats in pride parades or rainbow-themed company logos as little more than marketing aimed at younger, urban consumers. Yet, a closer look at two cities...

  • Ali Cudby is the founder of Your Iconic Brand.

    Indy's Culture of Failing Successfully

    Asking successful executives to share their failures can be somewhat disingenuous. As a newcomer to Indianapolis, I was curious to attend the inX3 conference and see how Indiana’s tech luminaries chose to tell their stories of failure at the conference launch event, Fail Fest. I expected thinly veiled self-promotion and affirmations of ultimate triumph. I was pleasantly surprised to see thoughtful assessment and genuine introspection as business leaders shared...

  • Saving Cash Abroad

    Summer is here and the travel season is in full swing. If you're planning to vacation abroad and explore other countries, now's the time to determine how to get the most out of your experience without blowing your budget. Before you jet off, consider some ways you can save money! According to the National Travel and Tourism Office, in 2016 a record number of Americans traveled abroad - 66,960,943 to be exact. And that trend is anticipated to continue in 2017.

  • How to Tackle Student Loan Debt And Fuel The Indiana Economy

    With graduation season complete, thousands of newly minted college graduates are entering Indiana's work force. It's a time for celebration, but as the pomp and circumstance fades, many recent graduates and their families are asking a serious question: How will I begin to pay off my student loans?

  • Omni-Channel or Omni-Chaos? Getting The Customer Experience Right

    What happens when a prospect or customer comes into contact with you? Expectations are high. And they're getting higher. Whether online on a digital platform, in a brick and mortar store, or in traditional media environment, your message, content and experience is expected to be seamless, meaningful and fulfilling. But as mobile moves in as an increasingly dominant marketing platform, things are changing...

  • The Case for A World Trade Center in Indianapolis

    In January, I announced that upon leaving office as Indiana's Attorney General that I would chair a group seeking to bring a World Trade Center to Indiana, located in Indianapolis. Joining me in this effort are two former public servants, Doris Anne Sadler and Travis Spotts, who are serving as president and executive director of the WTC Indianapolis bid, respectively. What is a World Trade Center and why is it important?

  • Raising a Glass to The State That Raised Us

    INX3, starting today in Indianapolis, puts the full force of Indiana's thriving startup community on display. It also provides a chance to reflect on the many wonderful elements of this state’s entrepreneurship ecosystem and how Indiana has helped me and my team grow our company Go Electric into what we are today. Building something from scratch is challenging, and having the proper support and guidance in the earliest stages is pivotal for success.

  • Building on Indiana's Success

    As we approach the mid-point of 2017, it is important for Indiana's elected officials and thought leaders to not only think about what they want to accomplish for the rest of this year, but identify priorities for the next 5 to 10 years. Our state has accomplished a great deal in the past decade and there is much to be proud of in terms of results. We should take pride in our outcomes, however, there still is a lot of work ahead of us for Indiana to achieve its potential.

  • Perfect Storm For Long-term Care

    The long-term care industry continues to face a perfect storm. Sales are shrinking, premiums are increasing (especially for women), interest rates remain low, and health care expenses keep rising. If you think it's only the elderly who are feeling the pain, think again! It's current and future policyholders as well as the young. How do you "weather" this storm? Today’s Premium Environment Why is this perfect storm gaining momentum now? A look at the two categories of...
  • Preparing Indiana For Environmental Change

    Hoosiers love to talk about the weather. A common saying here goes, "if you don't like it right now, just wait a few minutes." It's a funny refrain, but the weather - and more specifically, our environment - is no laughing matter when you consider the economic impact of extreme weather on the state of Indiana has totaled more than $6 billion since 2011.

  • Dan Arens is an Indiana-based business growth advisor.

    Business Growth: By Expanding Your Sales Model

    General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) Chief Executive Officer Jeff Immelt has said "it's our belief that every industrial company, in the coming age, is also going to be a software and analytics company. The people that deny that digitization is going to impact every corner of the economy are going to be left behind." Apparently, General Electric is doing exactly what Immelt admonished other businesses to do.

  • Going Beyond Logos And Fonts to Get Visual Branding Right

    Defining who you are and picking out a logo might seem like all you need to do to develop your brand. You might even have a typeface and color palette that you use on your website. While this is a good start, there's a lot more that goes into visual brand than just fonts and colors. Think of all the marketing channels you have that are being approached throughout the organization, not to mention all the touchpoints within the buyer journey.

  • From Classrooms to Cubicles

    Spring Commencement is over and the Class of 2017 is entering the work force. Gone are mornings that begin at 10 a.m., nap-filled afternoons and endless nights at the library! For most college grads, this rite of passage entails numerous lifestyle changes. And managing that paycheck is a major one. Just one short year ago I was in your shoes. In that amount of time I've become a pro at navigating the "adult" world.

  • Account-Based Marketing For Employee Email

    What is Account-Based Marketing? Account-based marketing provides a strategy for B2B companies who want to grow revenue by focusing on the best-fit prospects. Most marketing strategies include a broad approach to lead generation with the goal of capturing as many leads as possible, but 65 percent of marketers still say generating traffic and leads is their top challenge.

  • Must-Have Skills The Future Work Place Will Demand

    A popular storyline in science fiction, the concept of technological singularity states that there will eventually come a point in time when society will become so technologically advanced that machines will no longer need humans to "survive." Luckily, we're not quite there yet. However, it is true the pace of technology advancement is moving quickly, which means big changes - both positive and negative - for the way we live and interact with the world around us.

  • The Growth of IoT in Agriculture

    One of the oldest human trades is farming. Since the dawn of civilization, a need for regular, stable food production has been a staple of society. Today, agriculture is responsible for over $130 billion of our gross GDP in America. 

  • To Meet Today's Health Care Needs, Close The Nursing Shortage

    Cultivating and attracting talent has rightly been top-of-mind for Hoosier business leaders of late - particularly as graduation season comes to a close. After all, addressing talent gap - or nurturing key talent pipelines - in key segments of our economy is essential. But as we prioritize the attraction and retention of Central Indiana's technology leaders, engineers and digital champions, healthcare must also be top of mind.

  • Help Kids Serve Today to Lead Tomorrow

    A movement is underway to continue improving the lives of youth and families in Indiana. This movement was made official by The Indiana Commission on Improving the Status of Children in Indiana at the end of last year when the group released a three-year strategic plan so every child in the state can grow up in a safe and nurturing environment, and have ample opportunities to become a healthy, productive adult.

  • Transferring Assets to Grandchildren

    Planning the transfer of assets to grandchildren is in many ways similar to transferring assets to your own children, with a few exceptions...

  • Ali Cudby is the founder of Your Iconic Brand.

    Ditch The Exit Interview - Consider This Instead

    Ah, the joy of the exit interview. No matter why an employee leaves a company, it's an awkward experience. Most of the time, it's reasonable for employees to ask themselves if HR really wants to get meaningful feedback. After all, by the time someone is in the exit interview, the deed is done. They've resigned. They're outta there. What if there's a better way?

  • Home Prices: Going Up Says The Magic 8-Ball

    Thinking about buying or selling a home? In central Indiana, home prices have never been stronger. Will this trend continue? If so, how long? While the future is hard to predict, there are several positive factors - and then there’s the Magic 8 Ball...

  • Bad Compliance: Where Incentive Deals Go To Die

    Working in the field of site selection and incentives can be exciting. Big announcements, meeting important elected officials, and attending celebratory dinners are all in a day's work. Then there is incentives compliance, which is probably considered the opposite of exciting...

  • Reducing The Risk of Fire in Business

    A fire can be devastating to a business in many ways. Not only can it cause injury and possibly death, but it can cause extended downtime resulting in a loss of revenue. Even the smallest fire can result in extensive property damage costs. In fact, depending on the type of facility, property damage costs can range from $8,000 to $128,000. More than 75 percent of companies that experience a serious fire go out of business, either directly as a result of the fire or within 3 years of...

  • The Remote Work Debate: Which Side Will Win?

    IBM will be implementing a new company-wide policy that no longer allows employees to work remotely. U.S.-based employees will have the choice to commute to one of six main offices or they will be asked to leave the company altogether. According to IBM, this decision was made as a solution to combat several consecutive quarters of revenue loss. Like IBM, others are starting to return to a more traditional workflow...

  • How Employees Get to Work Affects Your Workplace

    If you could spend little or no money and address an issue that affects nearly half of your employees’ job satisfaction, would you? How about if you could save an employee hundreds of dollars a year in taxes? Help improve your workers’ overall health? Increase productivity? All with little or no cost to you? Most employers would jump at such opportunities, and many have, by encouraging employees to use alternative methods of getting to and from work each day.

  • (Image courtesy of Bedel Financial Consulting Inc.)

    Longevity Planning: Covering All The Bases

    You've executed a last will and testament and created a plan for divvying up your assets when you pass. You're covered, right? Not completely! What happens if calamity strikes and your final years aren't so vibrant? Do you have a plan for that?

  • Invest in Tech: 3 Ways To Grow Indiana's Economy

    As anyone who has built a business or community knows, slow-moving economies don't often emerge as leaders. We're seeing it play out today: Indiana's tech and innovation community has a lot of momentum, and the ability to create more high-wage, tax-paying jobs - but not without more venture capital and connectivity to other major hubs. We are proud to call Indiana "home," but we need support from those who influence policy and their constituencies. Otherwise...

  • Celebrating Innovation And Entrepreneurship in a Community

    In his book The Coming Jobs War, author Jim Clifton says "Today’s explorers migrate to the cities that are most likely to maximize innovation and entrepreneurial talents and skill. Wherever the most talented choose to migrate is where the next economic empires will rise. That’s why San Francisco, Seoul, and Singapore have become such colossal engines of job creation."

  • Scott Flood is the owner of Scott Flood Writing.

    Deceit is a Lousy Way to Start Relationships

    A greeting-card envelope appeared in this week’s mail. No return address, no stamp, just a colorful envelope. Curious, I slit it open and discovered an internet provider’s latest pitch, ingeniously disguised as a greeting card. Was I flattered? Touched? Tickled? Delighted? Impressed by the cleverness? Overwhelmed with good feelings about this witty vendor? No, I was actually repulsed by the idea that...

  • Crowdfunding: Now Anyone Can Own a Skyscraper!

    Have you ever wanted to own a skyscraper? How about an entire apartment complex? Well, good news, now you can! And, you don't have to meet "accredited investor" requirements. How? It's called crowdfunding!

  • How to Consider Cultural Fit in Your Hiring Process

    Think of the perfect candidate -- one whose skills and experience match perfectly with a job description. It's hard to imagine this candidate struggling in the workplace, yet it happens all the time. Why? Too often, companies become blinded by a resume and fail to consider cultural fit. Whether it’s an enthusiastic extrovert who’s hit hard by feelings of isolation when working remotely, or a deep-thinking introvert who’s quickly overwhelmed by...

  • Are We Communicating?

    Communication is a wonderful thing... when it works. Our society has some issues today when it comes to expression of our feelings and attitudes and much of it is related to the non-verbal communication. It could be time to take inventory of yours.

  • Facility Security Starts at Your Perimeter

    The recent shooting at a San Bernardino, California elementary school illustrates a critical principle about security that applies to every business, school, church, or other workplace: it begins at your perimeter. Consider the approach used by the professionals who provide the world’s toughest security. When you think of the President’s Secret Service team, your first thought is probably that they are the people who are trained to stand between a shooter and...

  • Dan Arens is an Indiana-based business growth advisor.

    Grow Your Business: Making The Right Major Decisions

    Almost anyone can drive an INDYCAR at 200 miles per hour in a straight line. It is when you need to make a turn that the problems start. If you focus on the wall it is easier to drive into it. The key is to stay focused on the road. If you misjudge the turn you will end up hitting the wall. Ben Horowitz, a partner in the venture capital firm of Andresson and Horowitz, sums it up by saying...

  • Six Practical & Positive Post Conference Practices

    Let's face it: attending and participating in conferences is an expensive proposition: interrupting your work week and taking the time to travel and spend big bucks on a conference is a lot of work and money! Yes, it's a lot of fun too, but after dropping a couple hundred bucks locally or up to $5000+ to attend a meeting outside of your hometown/state nationally or internationally, one would hope there's some return on investment in that attendance.

  • Wedding Approaching? What About a Prenup?

    What's your reaction to the words "prenuptial agreement" or "prenup?" I'm betting "romantic" doesn't come to mind. Prenups receive a bad rap. But given that nearly 50 percent of U.S. marriages end in divorce, a prenuptial agreement may be something to consider.

  • Making Sense of The 'Trump Bump'

    The stock market has been on an impressive run as of late, continuing to hit new highs, highs that are met with praise by some investors, and anxiety by others. The S&P 500 gained 8 percent from the election through the end of the year, and another 5 percent from the start of the year until mid-April. What is contributing to this?

  • Should I Fire My Largest Customer?

    Everyone who has ever run a business understands the concept of having a customer who's more important than the rest. But a very large customer may not always be the best thing for your company.

  • Attracting Leaders With a World View

    We are living one of the fastest eras in history, a time where innovation seems to have taken a high-speed train, leaving us with this feeling that everything is more chaotic and uncertain than a decade ago. To keep pace, organizations must develop and attract talent that can perform at the highest levels under the most pressing and unpredictable circumstances.

  • Protecting Seniors From Fraud

    Anyone of any age can get scammed, but seniors make the easiest targets. Each year they lose billions of dollars to scam artists, friends, and too often, family members. Knowing the facts and how to react when a fraudster comes calling can reduce the likelihood of being victimized. Here's a scenario that's becoming all too common...

  • Build Employee Strength to Maximize Results

    During the 2008 Great Recession, the mentality of "do more with less" became all too familiar. It was the mission and mantra of almost every employer out there - and the key to even staying in business. Unfortunately, as the recession began to recede, this way of running a company did not follow suit. And, in response to an unstable market and increased government regulations, doing more with less seems to be gaining an even greater foothold.

  • Why Digital Transformation Should be Your #1 Business Priority

    No longer is digital strategy in the hands and minds of CIOs alone. A recent CEO study from Price Waterhouse Cooper indicates that 86 percent of CEOs consider digital transformation their number one priority.  Digital transformation is, in essence, about enabling your business to develop new models to create disruption by quickly transforming products and services, empowering employees and optimizing operations to compete, lead and grow in your market.

  • Ali Cudby is the founder of Your Iconic Brand.

    The Smart And The Heart of Your Business

    I was impressed. Although I had reserved the room at Hotel Erwin through an aggregator booking site, the hotel had followed up with an email. In my reply, I shared that we were celebrating our 10th Anniversary. A warm Happy Anniversary welcome and a cold bottle of bubbly with a personalized card were waiting in the room. A few simple steps created a memorable customer experience where my husband and I felt appreciated and valued.

  • How to Avoid an Uber Failure at Your Company

    It's been a difficult last couple of months for Uber. In case you haven't been following the company as closely as you follow your Uber driver's arrival, a former employee blogged about issues of sexual harassment in February. The issues she described appear to stem from the culture and values created by the organization's leaders.

  • "What If…" It Happens?

    Life is full of "what-ifs"!  What if your neighbor’s dying tree crashes through your roof; your newly remodeled basement floods; your grandmother’s priceless Oriental rug gets doused with a bottle of Bordeaux; or a child is injured while playing in your swimming pool? Would you be covered? If you don’t know what your property and casualty insurance covers, find out – and soon! You don’t want any surprises.

  • How Do We Prepare For Indy's Next Building Boom?

    Downtown Indianapolis has never been a better place to work, visit or live. In the past decade, we've seen downtown blossom as a vital, energizing place, precisely because of the capital investments made in both the public and private sectors. A new stadium and arena, new education facilities, new lab and research facilities and new office space... the current residential building boom is a direct result of those investments.

  • The Road Ahead

    A budget surplus. A balanced budget. A AAA bond rating. One of the top five states in the country for doing business. More people working than at any time in its history. Record new investment. Low unemployment. A national leader for economic growth. Indiana has a lot to be proud of and has become the envy of its peers in the Midwest and across the country.

  • The Impact of Technology on Economic Development Policy

    In a world where technology is enabling almost everything, economic development policy makers are faced with several challenges when planning and implementing strategies for economic growth. Communities, regions and states must be able to adapt programs and initiatives to address the economic disruption caused by technology. In particular, investments in tech and talent are vital to ensuring economic growth and wealth creation for residents and businesses throughout the world.

  • Now is The Time to Begin Your Financial Wellness Journey

    Without a financial plan in place, many people find themselves struggling to make ends meet. In the FINRA Foundation's National Capability Study, 20 percent of Hoosiers said they spent more than their income over the past year (not including the purchase of a new home, car or other big investment) and 52 percent lack a rainy day fund to cover emergencies. April is Financial Literacy Month - an opportunity to take the time to evaluate your financial wellness and take action.

  • New Investment Vehicle: Interval Funds

    Everyone has heard of stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and probably even ETFs. But have you heard of "interval" funds? No? You might want to remedy that! Their popularity is zooming. So, what is an interval fund and, more importantly, is it a good option for you? What Exactly Is An Interval Fund?

  • Scott Flood is the owner of Scott Flood Writing.

    The Myth of Emphasis

    You’ve just developed a letter, an email, an article, or a blog post, and one sentence is particularly important. You want to make sure nobody misses it. So you should put it in ALL CAPS, RIGHT? Wrong. You probably don’t need to boldface it, either. In fact, if its importance is obvious, you probably don’t have to highlight it in any way. If it’s important to the reader, he or she will grasp that without having to be told.

  • Policy Should be The Foundation of Background Screening

    As a provider of background screening services, I’m pleased that a growing number of employers see the value of taking a deeper look at prospective employees. At the same time, I’m concerned at how many of those employers view a background check as a standalone strategy. Background checks are not strategies. Instead, they’re one of the tools that can play a role in broader strategies for hiring and retention.

  • Dan Arens is an Indiana-based business growth advisor.

    Grow Your Business With Leadership And Innovation

    He started out by building motorbikes in an old rundown building. He struggled, along with many others, to scrape by for enough to feed his family. He was determined to be a leader and an innovator. Even his nickname, Mr. Thunderstorm, exuded the many talents and characteristics he possessed. After World War II he saw the need for some form of transportation that was faster than a bicycle, something that was not a major consumer of gasoline due to the scarcity of fuel in Japan.

  • Startups Are The Canary in The Coal Mine For Big Business

    Many industries, particularly those of the largest Blue Chips, have been relatively stable when it comes to the fundamental markets in which they compete. Car ownership did not really change from 1950 to 2000. Neither did the act of grocery shopping or fast food. In fact, this stability is what allowed many of today’s Blue Chips to become dominant global leaders because they could focus on expansion rather defending their core business. This stability has disappeared...

  • Ditch The Documents!

    Are you becoming buried in paper? If "junk" mail is overtaking "real" mail, maybe it's time to take control. Opt out of the unnecessary mailbox clutter; get bills electronically, and regularly purge your paper files. Here's how…

  • Preparing Our Work Force: We Must Do More

    Indiana is faced with a monumental work force challenge: we have more than one million jobs to fill over the next ten years. Indiana’s Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) program is an important initiative of the Department of Workforce Development (DWD), and can play a key role in moving Indiana forward to meet these demands.

  • Cargo Export Options Expand in The Midwest

    Moving freight to and from Midwest can be a challenge with major ports thousands of miles away. There is hope. Between the Panama Canal widening project completed in June 2016 and the success (and imminent expansion) of the Indianapolis Rail Ramp, more cost effective and time efficient import options are available for Midwest cargo importers with proper supply chain planning.

  • More Affordable Health Care For Some Small Businesses

    Will the future bring more ObamaCare, some kind of new TrumpCare, or a WhateverCare that falls somewhere in-between? The uncertainty is raising the blood pressure of both business owners and covered employees, but it doesn't have to. There's already a proven alternative available to most Indiana companies.

  • Four Ways Going Paperless Helps Your Business

    Going paperless may seem like a clear and simple solution for many business challenges, but companies of all sizes have been slow to adopt electronic alternatives that reduce their dependence on paper. In fact, today only 17 percent of offices have moved to paperless operations. The benefits of going paperless span from financial to production. Using software in place of paper transactions can save companies thousands and industries billions of dollars in capital.

  • Daredevil Hobby = Higher Premiums

    If you have a "risky" hobby such as scuba diving or flying, you could be putting more at risk than bodily injury. You may be denied life insurance or pay more for it - even if you're in perfect health! It's important that you have the appropriate amount of life insurance to protect your family. If you regularly participate in a "risky" activity, you will likely pay higher premiums. But don't even think about ignoring the facts!

  • Wojtowicz is president of Indianapolis-based Cambridge Capital Management Corp., a loan management firm she founded in 1983.

    Fixed Interest Rates Can Provide Enhanced Stability

    The Federal Reserve just raised its benchmark interest rate for the second time in three months. And it's bound to go higher this year. So, how heavy is your company's debt load? And will it grow heavier as your fluctuating interest rate climbs higher? This may be a good time to see where you stand with an eye to positioning your balance sheet for the remainder of 2017 and beyond.

  • A Surprisingly Simple Tactic For Improving Employee Loyalty

    Employee loyalty may be at an all-time low. While a recent Deloitte study found that 78 percent of business leaders rate employee retention as important or urgent, large portions of an increasingly transient workforce seem ready to jump ship. In fact, a Monster Worldwide survey revealed that 4 of every 5 respondents had updated their resumes in the previous 6 months; and well over half reported searching for a new job "all the time" or "frequently."

  • Four Steps For Implementing a Wellness Strategy

    Employers face a difficult conundrum, attempting to attract talent using benefits, engage and retain your current employees, all while reducing healthcare costs. There is a significant need for cost savings, as chronic illnesses account for 75 percent of all health care costs and depression and obesity are the top two chronic health conditions driving health-related costs for employers.

  • Leadership Should Be Difficult

    Leadership isn't easy. People and employees who think being a leader means sitting in the corner office, taking three-hour lunches and spending afternoons on the golf course are sadly mistaken. Leadership is difficult - and leadership should be difficult. Why?

  • Career Starters: Wake Up!

    What's the one deadly sin that can ruin your financial future? Answer: Spending when you should be saving! If you are part of the millennial generation, take notice. You are now in the best position ever to plan for your future.

  • How Coworking is Impacting Economic Development

    The Refinery Center in Marion is a coworking space started by Marion native Shelby Bowen, VP of Development at construction management and development company Envoy, Inc. Bowen, who now lives in Fishers, still has much of his heart in his home town of Marion.

  • Live-Work Units: Reasons to Include Them in Your Next Project

    Construction recently kicked-off on a multi-use development in Fishers, included live-work units - something largely considered a new concept in Indiana. The live-work units made sense in Fishers, but the city isn't unique in this way. Mayors across this country are finding ways to redevelop their downtowns, create a sense of place in the community, and spur entrepreneurial growth from within.

  • Five Ways Managers Can Make Performance Reviews All About The Employee

    I have a surprise for you. Did you know managers and employees find little to no value in completing performance reviews? Okay, so it’s not a surprise that managers see the process as too long and too confusing. And they don’t see value in how it connects to company goals, let alone what they need to be working on. And you already know that employees get little information or feedback on their performance or their own development goals.

  • Think You Need More FTEs?

    There is one thing most every organization needs in its marketing efforts. In reality, it's not FTE’s in the human resource, full-time equivalent sense.  Instead, this FTE is an acronym that refers to the work of your marketing department or perhaps committee of volunteers if you're a smaller nonprofit.

  • Get Ready For March Madness!

    Tomorrow marks the official start of the 2017 NCAA Basketball Tournament. What do bracket-picking and investing have in common? Answer: Your skill in analyzing and distinguishing the winners from the losers. Here are a few tips that may help you win the office pool and create a profitable investment portfolio! Most people have a method for approaching March Madness.

  • Missing Pieces in Work Force Development

    Work force development is always a hot topic but it’s not as clear cut as developing some programs to retrain displaced workers and upgrade the skills of existing people in the work force, in hopes that they’ll be successful in the ever-changing workplace. There is a great deal of chatter surrounding the development of human capital and the collaboration between employer, government, and educational programs.

  • Indiana Legislators: Go Big Before You Go Home

    For a legislative session that opened with such promise for the tech community, a couple of initiatives look to be staring death in the face. The first, a training tax credit for companies investing in the development of their employees, can no longer be found in any active bills. But not all is lost.

  • The Coworking Community

    The coworking movement has been gaining steam nationwide and has been especially popular throughout Indiana over the past 5 years. What was once thought of as a fashionable working trend or something only available to those in the larger cities has now become a way for areas of the state that are generally off the beaten path to keep innovative young entrepreneurs or remote workers living in communities that they love or were raised in.

  • Understanding The Importance of Steamship Line Alliances

    A recent report from Brookings Institute shows Indiana’s dependence on exports. In 2015, Hoosier manufacturers exported $62 billion in goods and services, which is nearly 20 percent of the state’s economy. The steamship line industry will form three major alliances beginning April 1. The question is: are Hoosier exporters ready?

  • (Image courtesy of Bedel Financial Consulting Inc.)

    Caring For Loved Ones With Alzheimer's

    Does someone close to you have Alzheimer's? If so, you'll likely want your loved one to retain his or her lifestyle and independence as long as possible. My dad cared for my mom at home. Here's what our family learned from our experience...

  • Scott Flood is the owner of Scott Flood Writing.

    Don't Be Crass

    I ran across an article by a CEO of what appeared to be an impressive, progressive company. I expected to find a glimpse of useful wisdom, but was stopped in my tracks by the sheer amount of profanity and vulgarity he had woven into his words. The CEO may have had brilliant counsel to share, but I was so distracted by the scatological remarks and gratuitous profanities that peppered his remarks that I can't even remember the subject of the article, or the name of his company.

  • Measuring to Manage

    For most companies the first quarter of the year is employee evaluation time. It's been said that for most people giving a speech in public is one of their most dreaded fears. For most managers the most dreaded fear is giving an employee an evaluation. Most managers would rather be evaluated then to give an evaluation.

  • Dan Arens is an Indiana-based business growth advisor.

    Grow Your Business: Understand Failure

    He owned his own business, but it seemed every time he tried something new, it failed. Though Tom was faced with insurmountable odds at times, he persevered, stayed at his task and was unbelievably successful in his own right. He was one person, who just so happened to be Thomas Edison, but he did have a pretty good perspective on failure.

  • The Ultimate Guide to Mastering Employee Engagement

    Every day, HR departments all over the world are focusing more and more on their employee engagement strategies. With a closer look, it's not hard to see why.

  • Estate Planning For The Digital World

    What happens to your Facebook account when you die? Or, your beloved iTunes music library? Your estate plan provides for the management and distribution of your physical goods, but should it include provisions for digital assets? Absolutely!

  • Making Tough Land Use Decisions

    I've sat through a lot of zoning hearings during my career including several in recent weeks. I've seen them change over the years and each time I get more concerned about the tone, tenor, and emotionally charged debate that can dominate the discussions. Signs of protest, disruptive crowds, angry complaints, and name calling have become more prevalent. And we’ve seen that both from those petitioning for a project as well as those opposing a new development.

  • Legislative Game-Changers For Indiana's Tech Community

    The Indiana tech community could be on the cusp of two significant legislative changes making their way through the General Assembly.

  • Social Issues And The C-Suite: Why Silence Isn’t Always Golden

    Our nation is politically divided and myriad channels exist for us to share our diversity of opinions online. As individuals, we use social media disclaimers like, "these thoughts are my own" or "my views don't speak for my employer." Then, we let our friends and followers know exactly what we think. Corporate and non-profit leaders don't have that same luxury.

  • Why 12-Month Marketing Plans Are Worthless (And What To Do Instead)

    Marketing today has the ability to change without notice, and it can happen quickly. As a discipline of rapid iteration, marketing simply doesn’t lend itself to the rigidity of a 12-month plan any longer. Marketers looking to produce results-driven, nimble plans will need to think shorter-term, keeping the bigger picture in mind. The marketing budget is obviously of utmost importance for any business, large or small.

  • Digital Marketing Lessons From a Home Show

    To anyone involved in digital marketing or advertising, a home show probably seems like a vestige from a bygone era. The rows of booths crammed end to end, the salespeople who sound like carnival barkers, the endless product pitches - it all just seems so dated. So when I learned that one of the clients whom I've done a lot of content work for recently would be attending the Indianapolis Home Show, I was naturally hesitant to go.

  • Mobile Shopping: Convenience or Addiction?

    It's 8:30 p.m. and you’re sitting on your couch drinking a glass of wine and reading political Facebook posts, trying to decompress after a long, stressful day at work. When that doesn't work, you open the Amazon app on your mobile phone. After all, you deserve a little treat. Sound familiar?

  • Background Screening Shouldn't Be a One-Time Thing

    Most people have flaws, but a funny thing happens after companies hire them. They become perfect angels, incapable of doing anything illegal or immoral. Do you find that hard to believe? So do I. But when you look at approach to background screening that's used by those companies, post-hiring perfection is the only logical explanation.

  • For Most Businesses, Small Data Makes Big Difference

    Any business owner can tell you tech terms or services they are tired of hearing about, including examples like "cloud computing" and "marketing automation." But I can think of few terms or tech services that are grumbled about more than the term "big data." Stuffed into IBM commercials, displayed prominently in marketing magazines, and thrown around by people like me when the term small data just won't do, big data is...

  • Spring Cleaning Your Online Presence

    In today's digital age, it’s more important than ever to pay attention to your online reputation. Just like your home or office, your online presence needs a spring cleaning to get rid of old unwanted items, brush the dust off what's valuable, and make sure there are no surprises lurking in places you don't see every day.

  • Time Well Spent - Or Not?

    Do you spend your time wisely? When it comes to financial decisions, do you spend a significant amount of time on the small stuff? Have you ever calculated whether the outcome was worth it? Remember, time is money! Here's an example...

  • Why The Best Leaders Can Be Boring

    If I asked you to make a list of adjectives to describe great leaders, you would come up with a list with little trouble. But I highly doubt you would put “boring” on that list. In fact, you might have words on your list that are antonyms (or nearly so) to the word boring. Not only that, if you are like me, you don’t really want to be thought of as boring either. Yet I still believe that we as leaders should in at least some ways strive to be boring.

  • From Startup to Scale-up: When Marketing Changes

    In startups, marketing is most associated with one function: demand generation. After all, the early stages are the proving ground for getting the product in front of as many prospective users as possible. And for good reason: These at-bats are invaluable for collecting feedback, cementing product-market fit, and securing early revenue.

  • How to Do Leadership Development in a Digital World

    By 2017, over a third of the world's population is projected to own a smartphone, an estimated total of almost 2.6 billion people. The first iPhone came out just 10 years ago, and within one year an estimated one-third of the world will own a smart phone! Times are definitely changing, and your employees expect you to keep up.

  • Transportation Priorities at a Crossroads

    In the next few weeks, both the Indiana General Assembly and City-County Council in Indianapolis will vote on critical infrastructure investments: State lawmakers are debating better solutions for road and highway funding; a few blocks east on Washington Street, the City-County Council nears a final vote on improving mass transit service.

  • Emergency Funds: For When The Unexpected Happens

    It's winter in Indiana! Hit a pothole hard enough and you might end up with a pricey bill for the repair. Or, what if your furnace dies when temperatures are in the teens? Do you have an emergency fund to cover those scenarios? Emergency Fund 101 An emergency fund is a separate pool of money designated for unexpected costs such as health emergencies, job loss, and essential home and automobile repairs. An "emergency" should meet three characteristics. It must be unexpected...
  • Can You De-Risk The Hiring Process?

    Finding the best skilled talent for our growing life sciences company can be challenging, especially in a region where the skills gap continues to widen. We are devoted to spending the time and resources to identify and develop our staff. But, talent recruitment and development don't come without inherent risks.

  • How Much Are You Willing to Pay For Good Roads?

    The debate is underway at the Indiana General Assembly about 2017 priorities. It’s a budget year, so there is a long line of worthy endeavors hoping they find a spot in the biennial budget. Legislators are left with the task of prioritizing the State spending and ensuring the long term financial stability of the State. Perhaps no issue will get more attention than infrastructure funding. Experts estimate our roads and bridges need close to $1 billion more annually for upkeep.

  • Repeal Durbin Amendment And Put Consumers Over Profits

    In today's economy, businesses that value customers over profits are rewarded with loyalty, a sense of trust that can be hard to develop during typical business transactions, and a long-term customer who spreads the word about you. No one knows this better than credit unions, which exist solely to serve our members.

  • Dow Jones Reaches 20,000: Time to Sell?

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a record high of 20,000! Can it go higher? Will the bottom drop out? Should you buy, sell, or hold? These are all good questions with no easy answers. That's why it is important for investors to focus on their own situation and not their neighbors. With the Dow Jones reaching 20,000 points for the first time ever and uncertainty remaining high, the question that lingers is whether it’s time to sell.  Selling and capturing those gains so...

  • Some Boards Are Just Bored!

    Everyone knows of an organization with a few Board members who are passionately dedicated, while others are just looking to strengthen a resume.  Those extremes are the easiest to spot, but what about the ones in the middle?  What type of board member are you and what does your organization need to be certain it doesn’t have a “bored board?”

  • Scott Flood is the owner of Scott Flood Writing.

    'Well, Here's What I Think...'

    Technology has been a great workplace equalizer, allowing everyone to perform tasks that once required specialized skills, and flattening organizational charts as companies reduce headcount. But added responsibility doesn't automatically equate knowledge or expertise.

  • Lee Hamilton and Becky Skillman are co-chairs of the Indiana Bicentennial Commission.

    Indiana's Bicentennial: A Year to Remember, A Legacy to Continue

    Five years ago, former Governor Mitch Daniels announced the creation of the Bicentennial Commission. Although it seems like yesterday that the Bicentennial journey began, these last few years were filled with countless meetings and conversations, solid accomplishments and a deeper appreciation from Hoosiers of their Indiana heritage and a vision of what we need to do to make a good state even better.

  • As CEO, Where Is Your Time Best Spent?

    When you’re the leader of an organization, one of the most important daily struggles is to determine where to devote your time. As a CEO (or whatever title you hold), it’s your duty to take a broad view of the company, recognize untapped opportunities and create the strategy that leads to greater success and prosperity. Too often we fall into the trap of working “in” the business instead of “on” the business.

  • Perspectives: INPower

    • Indiana Can be a Driving Force in Technology Disruption

      Indiana companies and universities have a lot to offer when it comes to applying technology to the movement towards autonomous controlled vehicles.

    • Transforming Customer Experience Through Innovation and Technology

      Duke Energy provides safe, reliable power 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and we’ve been doing that to the best of our abilities for over 100 years. In spite of that, many of our customers only think about Duke Energy when the power goes out and when the utility bill comes. But change is most certainly in the air. Increasingly, our customers tell us they want more than just a once a month, one-way communication that comes in the form of an electric bill.

    • Indiana is Case Study in Nation’s Energy Transformation

      Amid the news of the Carrier jobs deal delivered by President-elect Donald Trump and Governor (and Vice President-elect) Mike Pence, a bigger jobs story was playing out with less fanfare. 

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  • Perspectives: Manufacturing & Logistics

    • Report: The Data and Story Behind Indiana’s “Crossroads of America” Designation

      Indiana has no shortage of advantages when it comes to its robust transportation network, favorable business environment and engaged industry leaders and government officials committed to ensuring Indiana continues its leadership position as the “Crossroads of America.” But what does being the “Crossroads of America” really mean and how does Indiana maintain its leadership position? 

    • Why Tolling Could Be Important to Indiana’s Future

      Indiana is truly at a crossroads and could become one of the few states with the right tools in the toolbox to tackle long-term sustainable transportation funding for our roads and bridges.  

    • Executives Help Power Indiana’s Logistics Talent Pipeline

      As a long-time Indiana logistics industry executive, I am acutely aware of the need to build a strong talent pipeline as the business of moving products from manufacturing floor to store shelf is projected to double by 2035. 

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  • Perspectives: Life Sciences

    • Indiana’s STEM success connects classrooms and careers

      If you have listened to today’s weather report, checked your blood-sugar levels or sent a text on your smartphone, you have benefitted from the innovation and impact of STEM-related careers. 

    • The Growth of IoT in Agriculture

      One of the oldest human trades is farming. Since the dawn of civilization, a need for regular, stable food production has been a staple of society. Today, agriculture is responsible for over $130 billion of our gross GDP in America. 

    • A Call to Invest Locally

      In a February 20 Wall Street Journal online article titled "How to Get Venture Capital to Places Left Behind," Steve Case -- the co-founder of AOL and chief executive of investment firm Revolution LLC -- spoke about the importance of encouraging and developing startups across the United States, not just in California, Massachusetts and New York. 

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  • Perspectives: Ag INnovation

    • The Growth of IoT in Agriculture

      One of the oldest human trades is farming. Since the dawn of civilization, a need for regular, stable food production has been a staple of society. Today, agriculture is responsible for over $130 billion of our gross GDP in America. 

    • How Indiana Can Beat Silicon Valley to the Next Big Tech Market

      The juxtaposition of farm fields and blockbuster tech companies has become a hallmark of Indiana’s economy. 

    • The Supreme Court Expands Opportunity to Challenge Wetlands Determination

      Property owners should take note that the United States Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, expressed concern over the scope and uncertainty of the Clean Water Act (“CWA”).  In recent weeks, the Supreme Court made an important decision about wetlands determinations under the CWA. 

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  • Perspectives: BigWigs & New Gigs

    • Lessons From My Summer Job

      Area college students have returned home in search of a summer employment opportunity. Over the next few weeks, high school students will join them as their school year comes to a close. The youth labor force grows sharply this time each year. In addition to large numbers of high school and college students searching for summer jobs, many graduates enter the labor market to look for or begin permanent employment.

    • Labor Department Rescinds Joint Employer & Independent Contractor Guidance: What it Means For Employers

      The Department of Labor recently rescinded two important guidelines issued during the Obama administration that affect employer liability under federal law – including how two employers can be liable for the same employee and when an independent contractor is treated as an employee under the law. Ice Miller’s Labor and Employment team outlines what these changes could mean to those most likely to be affected, including franchises and industries reliant on temporary workers.

    • Three Things You Need to Succeed in Today’s War on Talent

      The way companies attract and hire candidates has gotten pretty competitive, and the companies with the capacity to change and adapt with technology are the ones that succeed in recruiting top talent. By having a strategy that involves social media and consistent brand awareness, HR teams can surge ahead of the competition and make a real difference when it comes to staffing needs.

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  • Most Popular Stories

    • Carrier Parent Looks to 'Set The Record Straight'

      The parent of Carrier Corp. says it is looking to clear up some confusion about its plans for its Indianapolis manufacturing facility. Connecticut-based United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) says there have been inaccurate reports about the facility and the jobs associated with it.

    • BWI to Break Ground on First U.S. Facility

      State and local officials will Wednesday afternoon join executives from BeijingWest Industries Co. Ltd. to break ground on a more than $80 million manufacturing facility in Greenfield. The nearly 275,000 square-foot building will be the Chinese company's first production site in the U.S. and is expected to create up to 441 jobs by 2021.

    • IU Targets Entrepreneurship With Reorganization

      Indiana University is detailing measures it says will boost entrepreneurial activity at its campuses statewide. President Michael McRobbie has reorganized the IU Research and Technology Corp. in ways the school says will better address challenges such as talent identification, capital, startup space and programming for the companies behind innovations at IU.

    • New Ivy Tech Campus Chancellors in Place Statewide

      As part of its new organizational structure, Ivy Tech Community College has announced the 19 chancellors that will head its statewide campuses. President Sue Ellspermann says it represents the next step "in putting more 'community' into community college." The more localized structure, Ivy Tech says, will create self-sustaining units led by the chancellors. The new setup replaces the regional or bi-regional leadership structure that had been in place.

    • Zionsville Company Relocating to Westfield

      A Zionsville-based distributor is planning to relocate to Westfield. The Westfield Advisory Plan Commission has approved plans from NewPro Containers to invest $4 million for a new facility near the Westfield Business Park.